PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Nine future Scarlet Knights will join the Rutgers men's soccer program in the fall of 2016, it was announced Monday by head coach Dan Donigan. The incoming class includes a mix of four true freshmen and five transfers.
"We lost some very talented guys on and off the field after last season and it was imperative that we bring in quality players, students and people," said Donigan. "We are very happy with the additions that this year's class brings to our program not just on the field, but we believe that each one of these guys will bring many great qualities to our locker room, community and classroom. It's not just about the talent on the field, but the qualities in the locker room and off the field will also help build a great bond and family feeling. We also have brought in a number of older players that bring a maturity to our group as we continue to battle in this great conference, as we want to sustain the successes we were able to enjoy last season. We are really looking forward to working with our roster as we move forward off of last season."
Joe Bruno -- GK - 6-3 - 195 -- Edison, N.J./St. Joseph's/Lafayette
Bruno joins the Scarlet Knights after spending his freshman season at Lafayette College. Scholastically, Bruno was a two-year letterwinner and starter at St. Joseph's High School in Metchuen before joining PDA. An electrical engineering major, he was a member of the Patriot League Honor Roll and two-time Dean's List member. Bruno's brother, Charlie, was a member of the Rutgers men's crew club team and father, Charles, a four-year letterwinner at Fordham in swimming.
Donigan on Bruno: "Joe is a big, athletic goalkeeper who is transferring back home to compete in between the pipes for the next four years. We are thrilled to welcome Joe back as we tried to get him right out of high school when he played for national power PDA Academy right here in our backyard. We expect Joe to compete immediately and has a big task to overtake David Greczek, who is a potential MLS product in goal and potential Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year candidate going into next fall, but Joe welcomes that opportunity. Joe is a good shot stopper and has good distribution abilities along with good feet and from a goalkeeper, you need that at our level to compete."
Ethan Decker -- F -- 5-11 -- Manahawkin, N.J./Pennington School/Louisville
Decker arrives "On the Banks" after stops at UConn and Louisville. While with the Huskies, he played in 30 matches, including 19 starts and seven goals. As a sophomore in 2014, he was second on the squad with six goals, including a pair of game-winners, and 15 points. As a freshman, he was named American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week after scoring his first collegiate goal on a game-winning free kick against No. 10 Saint Louis. Prior to joining the collegiate ranks, Decker scored 45 goals and tallied 27 assists in his final two years at the Pennington School, earning First Team All-State honors in 2011 and 2012. A two-time Prep Player of the Year in Mercer County and Area Player of the Year in 2012, his teams advanced to two Mercer Country Tournament Finals, winning the crown in 2012. Decker is also a former member of the U15 and U20 National Team Pool and competed in the U17 Residency Program.
Donigan on Decker: "Ethan transferred back home to us this past January and has already made a great transition academically and from a soccer standpoint. Ethan brings incredible attacking qualities having been one of the nation's highest recruited prospect out of high school. Ethan was also a product of NY RedBull, who is also a top, national academy with tons of talented products every year coached and trained by the likes of Rob Elliott, Paul O'Donnell and Bob Montgomery. Ethan has brought a great energy and personality to our team already and after sitting out this fall, we anticipate that Ethan will be a player who has the ability to replace anyone along our front line going into the 2017 season."
Kyle Goodwin -- F -- 6-0 -- 185 -- South Brunswick, N.J./South Brunswick/Montclair State
A Division III All-American, Goodwin was instrumental in helping Montclair State to its second-straight regular-season NJAC championship and tournament title game appearance and 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament. Guiding the Red Hawks to a 19-3-1 record on the year, he scored nine goals and recorded five assists while helping the MSU defense to allow only 22 goals in 23 contests. As a freshman, Goodwin was named NJAC Rookie of the Year and NJAC Second Team after posting 34 points (13G, 8A).
Donigan on Goodwin: "Kyle is a strong, powerful athlete with a great set of soccer skills. He enjoyed two very successful years at Montclair State and I am confident he has the full package to be successful at Rutgers. We are very excited to add him as he will fit in well to our mix of players."
Jake Longo -- D -- 6-0 -- 175 -- Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood
An East Regional All-American, Longo helped Scotch Plains-Fanwood to a 77-15-4 record during his four seasons including four-consecutive Watchung Division Championships. Defensively, Scotch Plains racked up 48 shutouts and allowed only 68 goals over the course of 96 games with Longo in the backfield. A second team all-state, First Team All-Group 4, first team all-section and All-Union County selection, he helped Scotch Plains Fanwood to a 20-2-2 overall record, including 10 shutouts, as a senior and contributed two goals and three assists. Longo also helped PDA to the 2016 NJ State Cup Championship.
Donigan on Longo: "Jake is a very tough, strong, athletic defender with good organizational abilities within the backline. Coming from a program that continually produces great players at Scotch Plains High School and having been coached by legendary high school coach Tom Breznitsky, we expect Jake to come into camp ready to fight to get onto the field and help our defensive unit. Jake is a guy who we expect to grow into a leadership role on and off the field.
Tim McQuaid -- MF -- 6-2 -160 -- Roswell, Ga./Blessed Trinity Catholic
A member of the Concorde Fire from 2010-16, McQuaid also played in the USDA for three years under coaches Gregg Blasingame and Garth Pollonais. He was captain of the U18 team and a Disney Finalist and National League Champion with the U16 squad.
Donigan on McQuaid: "Tim is another Concorde Fire Academy product following the footsteps of Drew Morgan and Mitch Lurie. He comes `to the banks' as a talented attacking midfielder with good foot skills and vision that can break down defenses with good passing and sharp runs into the final third. We are excited to have another quality player from one of the best club environments in the country in the Concorde Fire, operated by Gregg Blasingame, a former Big Ten player himself.
Adebayo Onitiri -- F - 6-1- 180 -- Washington, N.J./Pennington School
Adebayo "Tunji" Onitiri spent the 2015 season at the Pennington School where he led his team to the Mercer County Championship behind 14 goals and three assists. The Mercer County Tournament top scorer, he was named first team all-prep and helped Pennington to be named the Times of Trenton Team of the Year. Onitiri also played with the PDA U-17/18 team in 2015-16.
Donigan on Onitiri: "Tunji, as he likes to be called, is a big, strong and powerful front runner who possesses the skills to score goals and create chances in the final third of the field. We feel we already possess speed and power in the attack, but Tunji will certainly elevate those traits. A tremendously talented person and very mature and bright individual,Tunji will bring some great qualities on and off the field to our program. It is no surprise that Tunji has all these great qualities having been a product of The Pennington School in New Jersey where Chad Bridges has run that program to state and national prominence.
Ryan Peterson -- F -- 5-11 -- 175 -- Budd Lake, N.J./Mount Olive/N.C. State
Peterson joins the Scarlet Knights following two seasons at N.C. State. Prior to joining the Wolfpack, he was a three-year varsity starter at Mount Olive High School totaling 61 goals and 40 assists in his career. A first team all-state, First Team All-Morris County and First Team NJAC All-Conference as a senior, he collected 19 goals and 18 assists. In his junior season, Peterson poured in 21 goals and 14 assists earning First Team All-NJAC, Second Team All-Morris County and Honorable Mention North Section II All-State. Additionally, he was named to two All-State All Star games. Peterson helped the PDA U18 Academy team to the 2014 National Championship and has played with the Soccer Domain FC Gauchos, helping the team to the National Championship Series N.J. Championship, Disney Soccer Showcase semifinals, Surf Cup semifinals and third place in the US Youth Soccer National League.
Donigan on Peterson: "Ryan has two years of ACC soccer, so he is well conditioned for some of college soccer's top competition. He brings pace, physicality and offensive capabilities to our team. Ryan should bring maturity into our team and we will rely on him to be an offensive threat. A good sized, physical and powerful player, Ryan should enjoy his next two years playing in front of his friends and family."
Athanasios Scheidt -- MF -- 6-0 -- 170 -- Wall, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy
Scheidt is ranked as the No. 7 midfielder in the region, No. 20 midfielder in IMG's Top 150 and the No. 57 ranked player overall according to Top Drawer Soccer. Additionally, he was listed as the No. 62 ranked recruit in the Class of 2016 by College Soccer News. A member of PDA, he helped both the U18 and U16 teams qualify for the playoffs and was a member of the U15 squad that were 2014 national finalists. Scheidt also participated in U.S. National Team Market Training, US Club ID2 National Team Selection and Real Madrid Adidas Summer Select. Scheidt will train with Hamburger SV FC this summer. His father, John, is a member of the Farleigh Dickinson Hall of Fame as a member of the 1983 men's soccer team that went 21-3-0 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals.
Doningan on Scheidt: "Tnasi is a technical player with good vision and tackling ability who has good box to box abilities. He is a very solid all-around player who will look to get into our midfield rotation as soon as possible. Tnasi comes out of Christian Brothers Academy and competed and played for our backyard super power PDA Academy program coached by Sam Nellins and Gerry McKeown. We are very proud to keep our pipeline of great PDA players coming into our program over the past seasons and being able to keep our Jersey student athletes home."
Ramario Thompson -- D -- 6-4 -- 205 -- Santa Cruz, Jamaica/Tyler Junior College
Thompson arrives at Rutgers after two seasons at Tyler Junior College. During his tenure, the Apaches went a combined 40-7, amassed 20 shutouts and the 2014 NJCAA National Championship title. Last season, Thompson helped Tyler JC to a 19-4 record, an appearance in the NJCAA National Championship game and its seventh-straight Region XIV championship. A NSCAA All-Region selection and NJCAA All-Tournament Team member a year ago, he guided the Apaches to 10 shutouts and a 0.73 opponent goals against average. In his first season at Tyler Junior College, the Apaches captured their fourth national championship, finishing on an eight-game winning streak at 21-3 overall, with 10 shutouts. Thompson will join fellow countrymen Jason Wright and Sheldon Mckoy on the roster.
Donigan on Thompson: "Ramario is expected to bring physical size, strength and toughness to our backline. His size gives him great aerial abilities and for a big man, he has great feet. I fully expect that Ramario will work his way into our backline pretty quickly. Ramario comes from perennial national championship program at Tyler Texas where professional caliber players are sent all over the country to play for the best programs in the country every year and Ramario is one of those players that we have wanted ever since we first seen him play."
"On paper, we have assembled a great class, but the reality is we need to stay healthy, work incredibly hard and find the right team chemistry.Time and results will determine the caliber of this class, but we certainly feel that the potential is there for this class to be successful" added Donigan. "Our coaching staff has worked hard to put this class together and I personally want to acknowledge my staff, Dave Beck and Bryant Knibbs for their constant support and efforts."
The Rutgers men's soccer program finished the 2015 season at 12-7-2 overall, reaching the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The recruiting class will join 24 returning Scarlet Knights including forward Jason Wright (Kingston, Jamaica), the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, Second Team NSCAA All-American, and honoree on the NSCAA First Team All-Region, along with junior goalkeeper David Greczek (Fairfield, N.J.), who was selected to the All-Big Ten Second Team, and Brian Hawkins (Chesterfield, N.J.), a Big Ten All-Freshman Team honoree.
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